Biblical Perspective on Suicide

What the Bible says about Suicide

The word suicide is traced in the Oxford English Dictionary to 1651; having its first occurrence in Sir Thomas Browne’s Religio Medici, written in 1635 and published in 1642. Before it became a popular term called suicide, expressions such as “self-murder” and “self-killing” were used to describe the act of taking one’s own life.

Suicide/Crisis Hotlines

NOTE - If you or a loved one is struggling with suicidal thoughts and tendencies, please get help immediately. Don’t try to face this on your own.  

Call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) at any time day or night 24/7, to talk to someone who understands. 

You can also Call the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988 

Nigerian Suicide Prevention Initiative
+ 234 806 210 6493
+ 234 809 210 6493

Lagos suicide hotlines, by the Lagos State Government
Hotline: 08058820777 and 09030000741

LUTH Suicide Research and Prevention Initiative (SURPIN)
Hotline: 09080217555, 09034400009, 08111909909 and 07013811143

Or go online at for more information and help.

or visit

What does the Bible say about Suicide?

The Bible did not use the word suicide, but it has much to say on this subject clearly. God forbids suicide.

The Bible sees suicide as equal to and the same as murder, which is —self-murder. God is the only one who is to decide when and how a person should die; as seen with the psalmist, “My times are in your hands” (Psalm 31:15).

However, the Bible does not call suicide the unforgivable sin. The unforgivable sin is not suicide but blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. 
Luke 12:10 — And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him.

People who committed Suicide in the Bible.

The Bible only gave six specific and clear accounts of people who committed suicide. However there are other speculations of suggestive suicide as well as prevented suicide cases

1. Abimelech (Judges 9:54)

Abimelech was mortally wounded by a woman who dropped a millstone on his head. So, he cried to his armour-bearer to kill him so his death would not be credited to the woman. 

2. Saul (1 Samuel 31:4)

When his armor-bearer refused to kill him at his request, the wounded King Saul took his own life by falling on his sword lest the Philistines abuse him any further.

3. Saul’s armour-bearer (1 Samuel 31:4–6)

Out of hopelessness and terror after seeing that Saul was dead, Saul's armour-bearer, assistant to the king impulsively took his life as well.

4. Ahithophel (2 Samuel 17:23)

Ahithophel, after his advice was no longer followed by King David’s son, Absalom to lead to final defeat over David’s army, out of possible fear, rejection, or complete hopelessness, he chose to go home, “put his house in order, and then hanged himself

5. Zimri (1 Kings 16:18)

As an evil king of Israel and facing utter defeat, Zimri saw no way out, except to take his own life. He set himself ablaze after his plotted rebellion failed.

6. Judas Iscariot (Matthew 27:5)

The death of Judas is the only clear example of suicide in the New Testament.


Some people have considered Samson’s death an example of suicide, because he knew his actions would lead to his death (Judges 16:26–31), but Samson’s goal was to kill Philistines, not himself because he told God to let him die with his enemies. Well, some have also considered this as a mere act of military bravery.

Also, some consider Prophet Jonah to have attempted suicide (Jonah 1:11–15) when he pleaded with the Mariners on the ship going to Tarshish to throw him into the sea so that the sea might be calm to the people.

Paul later prevented the suicide of the Philippian jailer and won him to Christ after the divine opening of the prison doors (Acts 16:27–28).

What does God say about Suicide?

God initiates and gives life. Suicide, the taking of one’s own life, is a sin and is ungodly because it rejects God’s gift of life. No man or woman should presume to take God’s authority upon themselves to end his or her own life.

Suicide is a sin according to the Bible. God’s word makes clear the sanctity of life: “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13).

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies” (1 Corinthians 6:19–20).

Are there times we could Have suicidal thoughts as Christians?

Life can be very challenging and full of hurdles that our frail minds might give in to enter suicidal thoughts which are from the devil. 

Even in scriptures, some people felt deep despair in life. Solomon, in his pursuit of pleasure, reached the point where he “hated life” (Ecclesiastes 2:17). Elijah was fearful and depressed and yearned for death (1 Kings 19:4). Jonah was so angry at God that he wished to die (Jonah 4:8). Even the apostle Paul and his missionary companions at one point “were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself” (2 Corinthians 1:8).

However, none of these men committed suicide. Solomon learned to “fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind” (Ecclesiastes 12:13). Elijah was comforted by an angel, allowed to rest, and given a new commission. Jonah received admonition and rebuke from God. Paul learned that, although the pressure he faced was beyond his ability to endure, the Lord can bear all things: “This happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead” (2 Corinthians 1:9).

Biblical Help for People Struggling with Suicidal Thoughts.

1. Choose Faith over Fear.

Don’t be scared to reach out and help someone who is struggling, or to reach out for help if you find yourself struggling. Believe in God and trust in Him for help over whatever situation you are being faced with.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Is. 41:10)

2. Know that you’re never alone.

In the midst of the storm and criticality of life, Jesus is with you because He is faithful to His word which says;
“The Lord is always near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.” (Ps. 34:18-19)

3. Know that God loves you and is always with you.

He will sustain you through your greatest burdens.

“Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.” (Ps. 55:22)

4. Know that He does not condemn you or accuse you.

He offers freedom and peace.

“Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.” (Rom. 8:1-2)

“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

5. Remember that He has a plan for good in store

Whatever we face now, no matter how dark it may seem, will not remain the same. There’s hope still ahead.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jer. 29:11)

There is tremendous power in God’s Word, and in praying it back to Him. He reminds us that it won’t return empty, without accomplishing great things. (Is. 55:11) Even in the deepest life struggles, He is able to bring us through to other side, by His healing and strength. 

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